Dezeen Magazine

W Hotels Designers of the Future Award winners

Design Miami/Basel has announced that Asif Khan, Mischer'Traxler and Studio Juju are the winners of the 2011 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award:


Since its introduction in 2006, the Designers of the Future Award has honored up and coming designers and studios that are expanding the field of design. Each year, multiple designers are ecognized as a way to honor a variety of approaches in the constantly evolving landscape of contemporary design. The W Hotels Designers of the Future Award moves beyond pure product and furniture design to acknowledge technologically and conceptually vanguard pieces that work across multiple disciplines. The goal of the Award is to offer the next generation of design creatives the opportunity to present newly commissioned works to a powerful audience of collectors, dealers and journalists at Design Miami/Basel, while drawing attention to design practices that exemplify new directions for the future of design.

This year, Design Miami/ Basel is pleased to continue its partnership with W Hotels in presenting the 2011 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award. This ongoing partnership allows Design Miami/ Basel to expand the benefits of the Award by giving the winning designers the opportunity to exhibit their commissioned projects at W Hotels around the globe following the first presentation at the Design Miami/  Basel fair in June. The 2011 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award winners are:


Qualifying candidates for the W Hotels Designers of the Future Award must have created original works in the fields of furniture, lighting, craft, architecture and/or digital/electronic media. Candidates must have been practicing for less than 15 years and have produced a body of work that demonstrates originality in the creative process, while also exhibiting an interest in working in experimental, nonindustrial, or limited-edition design.

This year’s winners were selected by an international jury that included Wava Carpenter of Design Miami/; Aric Chen of Beijing Design Week; Li Edelkoort of Edelkoort Inc.; Marcus Fairs of; Alexis Georgacopoulos of ECAL; Konstantin Grcic of KGID; Kenya Hara of Muji; Constance Rubini of the School of Decorative Arts Paris; Zoe Ryan of the Art Institute Chicago; and Mike Tiedy of Starwood Hotels.

“Innovation, creativity and a cutting-edge approach to the philosophy of design are at the heart of what we do at W Hotels,” says Mike Tiedy, SVP, Global Brand Design & Innovation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “The work of this year’s winners represents exactly the type of forward-thinking design that we strive to incorporate into our hotels around the world.”

“W Hotels Worldwide has been an industry innovator since its launch in 1998 in New York City,” says Eva Ziegler, SVP, Global Brand Leader W Hotels and Le Meridien. “Cutting-edge design and innovative design solutions are essential to our brand and working with Design Miami/ and the W Hotels Designers of the Future gives us a direct link to what’s new and next.”

Last year, W Hotels Designer of the Future Awards were presented to Beta Tank, Graham Hudson, rAndom International and Zigelbaum + Coelho. The winners traveled to W locations across the globe during key design weeks and set up on-site installations at W Barcelona and W New York Downtown. The winners also showcased their work at Istanbul Design week.

Two of the award recipients, Zigelbaum + Coelho and rAndom International, were also integrated into the W Taipei Premiere Event in March 2011, where W Hotels also commissioned rAndom International to create permanent installations. Following the success of this event, Zigelbaum + Coelho was also commissioned to create designs for a St. Petersburg premiere event in June 2011.

While the Designers of the Future Award has always featured unique and groundbreaking work exemplifying a progressive understanding of the design field, this year’s award will take a new approach with the theme, “Conversation Pieces.” Starting with this theme, this year’s winning designers have been commissioned by Design Miami/ Basel and W Hotels to create new works that encourage people to overcome social barriers while also sparking conversations between strangers.

“With this year’s Award, we wanted to highlight the young design vanguard while exploring works that are intentionally interactive,” says Design Miami/ Director Marianne Goebl. “While our three winners represent three very diverse and unique viewpoints, they all share an experimental and multi-disciplinary approach that we believe will encourage visitors to rethink the future of the design field.”


Asif Khan Ltd. is a design office based in London working across architecture, products, interiors, and furniture, with a focus on projects that combine these disciplines in new and unexpected ways. Asif Khan has a diverse range of clients ranging from manufacturers to private individuals including Magis, Idee, Danese, Sawaya & Moroni, the Design Museum, and the Clinton-Hunter Foundation. Current projects include a restaurant in London's Borough Market and furniture for schools in Malawi.

Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler develop and design products, furniture and exhibitions, while focusing on experimental and conceptual design. Through examination, experimentation and analysis, the duo tries to draw their own conclusions, which often results in overall concepts, systems, and visions rather than single products. After graduating from the IM-Masters Department at the Design Academy Eindhoven in June 2008, Mischer and Traxler found studio mischer’traxler in Vienna, Austria in 2009. Their projects have been shown at international design festivals and in various museums around the world. mischer’traxler also collaborate with other designers and artists on a variety of projects.

Established in 2009 by Timo Wong and Priscilla Lui, studio juju is a design partnership based in Singapore. The studio’s process is characterized by a hands on approach to prototype making, focusing on a detailed understanding of design principles related to functionality, form and material. Studio Juju works with industry clients and creates partnerships with businesses, start-ups and other designers, while also undertaking projects in the field of education.


Design Miami/ Basel 14-18 June 2011
Public Hours of Admission 11am-7pm daily
VIP Opening (By invitation only): Monday, 13 June 2011
Press Preview (New Hours): Monday, 13 June 2011, 3-6pm
Press can pre-register online at
Vernissage: Monday, 13 June 2011, 6-10pm
Nocturne (By invitation only): Thursday, 16 June 2011, 7-9pm

Design Miami/ is the most prominent and substantive forum for collectible design, representing a convergence of commerce and culture. Its annual shows in Basel, Switzerland (June) and Miami, USA (December) bring together the most influential galleries, collectors, designers, critics and curators from around the world. For more information please visit
Design Miami/ Basel is presented in partnership with HSBC Private Bank, whose dedication to innovative international design is an example of its emphasis on the value of connections. HSBC Private Bank is committed to supporting the forum in Basel and to continuing to explore new opportunities together with Design Miami/Basel into the future.